Amazon to Launch Free Yearlong EC2 Usage Tier for Developers

Beginning Nov. 1, AWS customers will be able to run an Amazon EC2 cloud computing instance free for 12 months., which jumped way out ahead in the cloud computing trend in 2006, is putting out an offer to potential software development customers that will be hard for many of them to pass up.

The company's Web Services division announced Oct. 21 that developers and businesses can now apply for a free EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) usage tier to use for a full year.

Beginning Nov. 1, potential new Amazon Web Services customers will also be allowed to use a new free usage tier for Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service), Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing and AWS data transfer.

Of course, if an application is developed and running on EC2 after a full year has elapsed, then's standard pay-as-you-go pricing goes into effect.

A key ownership point in all this: Applications developed on the cloud do not belong to and can be moved elsewhere, if desired.

"Developers are free to stop using the service at any time. As with all of our services, there are no long-term commitments," spokesperson Kay Kinton told eWEEK.

AWS Vice President Adam Selipsky said the offer will enable developers to "launch new applications, broaden their AWS knowledge or simply gain hands-on familiarity with the services-all while incurring no charges."

Selipsky said if the new application spikes in popularity, it will seamlessly scale and run on AWS's standard pay-as-you-go pricing after one year has elapsed.

"Everyone from entrepreneurial college students to developers at Fortune 500 companies can now launch new applications at zero expense and with the peace of mind that they can instantly scale to accommodate growth," Selipsky said.

"We can't wait to see what great ideas are set in motion now that it's free to experiment and launch production applications in the AWS cloud."

Here are the details of the new AWS offering. All features are free for one year except the last three, which are free indefinitely:

  • 750 hours per month of micro-Linux Amazon EC2 instance usage-enough to run continuously (there are approximately 750 hours in a month)
  • 750 hours per month of an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer
  • 10GB per month of Amazon Elastic Block Storage
  • 5GB per month of Amazon S3 Storage
  • 30GB per month of Internet data transfer (15GB of data transfer "in" and 15GB of data transfer "out" across all services)
  • 25 machine hours per month of Amazon SimpleDB
  • 100,000 requests per month of Amazon Simple Queue Service
  • 100,000 requests per month, 100,000 Notifications over HTTP per month, and 1,000 notifications over e-mail per month for Amazon Simple Notification Service
Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...